The neglected eye: Ophthalmological issues in the intensive care unit

Fernando Ramírez, Sergio Ibarra, Joseph Varon, Rosa Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: The eye is not an organ immune to insults as a result of impairments to normal function or illnesses. In those patients that are intubated and/or sedated, the protective blink reflex is often not working properly, or not working at all. This paper will review some of the conditions of the eye most often encountered in the intensive care unit (ICU). Methods: PubMed was searched using the keywords ophthalmological problems, ICU, ophthalmology, eye, keratitis, chemosis, candidemia, infections to locate reports of ophthalmologic problems in the intensive care unit and literature about recommendations for the management of those ophthalmologic conditions. Results: The present study is a review of the recent literature related to the diagnosis and management of ophthalmological issues in the ICU. Conclusions: The eye is an important, and often under utilized, diagnostic indicator of disease. In the ICU the eye is vulnerable to the increased potential of insult. It is necessary to prevent eye damage by trying to preserve its protective layers integrity and regularly examined in ICU patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-82
Number of pages11
JournalCritical Care and Shock
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Corneal abrasion
  • Eye
  • ICU
  • Intensive care units
  • Keratitis
  • Ophthalmologic
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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